7 Boxes

7 Boxes, directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori, won the 2012 Euskaltel Youth Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. It also garnered recognition via its inclusion in the Discovery category of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Realistically written characters, a solid narrative, and summer-night ambiance substantiate...read more

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Reviewed by Matt Walters
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7 Boxes, directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori, won the 2012 Euskaltel Youth Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. It also garnered recognition via its inclusion in the Discovery category of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Realistically written characters, a solid narrative, and summer-night ambiance substantiate that credibility.

Life is hard for Victor (Celso Franco), a wheelbarrow delivery boy in Asuncion, Paraguay. He desperately wants to be on TV like his impossibly suave action-movie idols. When Victor discovers that a friend of his sister's is selling a cell phone that can record videos, he sets off to earn enough money to buy it. However, when he encounters a shady yet lucrative job opportunity that involves transporting seven mysterious crates of unknown content, he must decide whether his reward is worth being chased by the police and rival couriers. No matter how this night ends, one thing is for certain: Being an action hero in real life isn't quite what Victor had expected.

7 Boxes captures the sweat-soaked vibrancy of a bustling Paraguayan marketplace with effective handheld (but not too shaky) camerawork, introduced in a cool speed-zoom opening. Franco and Lali Gonzalez (playing Victor's friend Liz) both offer genuinely believable performances, with Gonzalez in particular bringing charisma and welcome comedic flair to a refreshing supporting role. The film’s many side plots, which initially seem inconsequential, actually manage to tie into the core narrative in a fascinating way. Likewise, small details (a butcher making excuses on a borrowed phone in the background since he'd lent out his own phone earlier in the film, or the main character's sister coming upon a grisly crime scene as it's described in voice-over elsewhere) provide enjoyable rewards to the attentive audience member.

Particularly fun chase scenes, including one with a wheelbarrow gang and a race through a dance hall, do a decent job of keeping the pace up as the story unfolds; however, in their absence, some action fans uninterested in dialogue or character development may find the plot dragging a bit around the middle. 7 Boxes delivers an enjoyable, honest thriller that delivers a strong plot, believable performances, and a palpable energy.

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  • Released: 2012
  • Rating: R
  • Review: 7 Boxes, directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori, won the 2012 Euskaltel Youth Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. It also garnered recognition via its inclusion in the Discovery category of the 2012 Toronto International Fi… (more)

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